Sound — 7
New wave revivalists The Hourly Radio from Dallas, Texas made an album brimming with electro-pop passages that recall The Human League and Ultravox while fizzling contemporary gilding that has the magnetism of Angels And Airwaves, Kill Hannah, and their present touring partners Shiny Toy Guns. The soft vocal fluency of lead singer/guitarist Aaron Closson has an effeminate quality that sustains the weight of holding up the melodies. Along with guitarist Ryan Short, drummer Adam Vanderkolk, and bassist Tim Jansen, the band's debut album on Kirtland Records entitled History Will Never Hold Us inflames lush harmonies and twirling guitar effects that are hypnotically compressed and possess an elysian sensory. The songs are melodic and mesmerizing with flowing synth textured escapes and bubbly digitized beats. Songs like He Said/She Said, Deaf Ears, and Closer have an emollient esthetics, softly stirred and calmly vacillating. The songs wash into each other like a giant mosaics where all the scenes roll into each other, and yet, the album holds the listener's attention without ever making them feel bored by the repetitive capsules of electro-pop guitar phrases and sonics. Some numbers have a fairy-tale vibration like Means To An End, while some are upbeat like Fear Of Standing Upright and others are dimly lit like First Love Is Forever. The Hourly Radio's album is shoegazey and new wave-ish but never sounds old or out dated, more like new and refreshing with correlations to Electric Soft Parade and Test The Reflex.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are in first person and have a narrative tone as if taken from a chapter of someone's relationship like in the song Please Forget. Closson rings out, On holidayYou said that everything has changed and now you're goneI lay awake at night still wonder what we doneOh please forget I ever wanted you. The lyrics throw words back in peoples faces and some of the song titles do as well like Crime Does Pay and Not A Victim. The lyrics show the reaction that emotions have from being mistreated.
Overall Impression — 7
It's an album that is meant to relax rumpled emotions. Because of the natural flow of the movements it does not seem like a lot of work went into the song structures but not over thinking the songs is also the hallmark of a good album. Copious amounts of electro-pop capillaries come off as filler material creating a plush berth for the vocals, and yet with The Hourly Radio, it seems like the vocals are holding everything up. The album is shoegazey and new wave-ish and still has mettle.